It took a pandemic, the closest thing we may see in our lifetimes to the world standing still, for societies around the world to earnestly reckon with racism and systemic oppression. The catalyst was the murder of George Floyd, and over the next few months, Floyd’s name was joined by Taylor, Arbery, and McClain in the chorus of marches and protests around the globe focused on countless others who have been unjustly killed.

Those refrains even made their way into Zoom calls and ad-hoc diversity trainings in workplaces throughout 2020. Companies, once inclined to ignore or sweep aside such painful conversations, began to look at how these tragedies were affecting their employees.

So, has diversity in the workplace “worked”? The answer is “no.” I do not mean that it can’t work or that it won’t work, but I can unequivocally say that it has yet to be successful. And it is important for companies to understand that and to acknowledge that it will take much more time and effort than what we’ve seen so far. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is not a moment or box to be checked off the company to-do list. It is a movement; it is a continuous process.

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